How to Break the Bad Management Habits That Are Holding You Back

The Reserves Network


Management is a complicated task that bridges the production goals of a team with the interpersonal interactions of team members.  Your job as a manager is to maintain productivity; in most cases, you may not be actively teaching your team members how to do their jobs on a daily basis.  Instead, you’re teaching them how to work together, to value their own and each others’ work, and to help them stay motivated to solve problems as they arise.

But what if your hard work is holding the team back instead of pushing it forward?

Ensure that you are consistently in control of bad habits that affect your team’s cohesion and productivity.

Avoid Micromanaging Your Staff

Nothing sours a working relationship like having someone constantly looking over your shoulder.  While your intentions may be positive, micromanaging an employee is telling them that you have no faith in their ability to perform their duties unsupervised.  This is incredibly destructive, both to morale and productivity.  If you are truly concerned with the quality of an employee’s work, the answer isn’t to supervise them constantly.  Instead, focus on short, focused coaching sessions based on concrete examples of areas needing improvement.  Remember, the more you invest in the success of your employees, the more successful they will be.

Incorrectly Attributing the Successes and Failures of the Team

We’ve all worked with someone who never accepts responsibility for failure—don’t be that person.  A failure on the part of a team member is a failure of the team, and you’re responsible for the team’s success.  When something goes wrong, evaluate your own actions before those of the employee.  What could you have done differently, or what training could you have made available, to prevent this failure from occurring?  As a manager, it is your job to proactively seek out opportunities for improvement. On the flip side, the successes of the team belong to the team, and that includes everyone.

Disciplining or Criticizing a Team Member in Front of the Team

Criticism is meant to be constructive.  Not everyone takes criticism equally well, however, and it’s easy to offend an employee if they feel you’re trying to belittle them.  While you need to be firm on some things like the quality of the work and the importance of professional behavior, you can take a flexible approach to enforcing these inflexible points, which is much easier to do in private. Your team will quickly rally around an employee they feel is being bullied, and it’s best to limit critical communications to yourself and the employee in question.

Take a Systematic Approach to Management

Your instinctive reaction may not always be the correct reaction.  It is important that you pause before reacting to a situation and at minimum, do the following:

  • Ask questions
  • Give professional feedback
  • Monitor the results of your feedback

This first step alone should ensure that cooler heads prevail, and keep you from inadvertently reacting in a destructive fashion.  Deliver a measured response and continue to evaluate the situation as needed.  By pausing and responding with the best interests of your team in mind, you can begin to eliminate bad habits that destroy the harmony of your team.  Stay vigilant, and never allow yourself to become complacent—a good manager is always seeking out growth for themselves and their team.

If your team is growing, call the The Reserves Network today.  We are a full-service workforce management and staffing agency made up of experienced leaders who can help place the right people on your team.


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